Mark Darrow grows up to become a superb trial lawyer - thanks to the mentorship of Lionel Farr, a professor at Caldwell, the local college. Now, it's time for Farr to ask his still-youthful protege to return the favour: an embezzlement scandal threatens to destroy Caldwell. Returning to his alma mater as president opens old wounds. Sixteen years before, he discovered the body of a black female student, Angela Hall, at the base of The Spire, the bell tower that dominates the leafy campus. His best friend, Steve Tillman, was charged with Angela's murder and given a life sentence. Darrow begins his own inquiry into the murder, and is soon convinced that the killer is still at large. His own life too may be at risk . . . Gripping and razor-sharp, The Spire is a hugely satisfying thriller, a poignant love story - and Richard North Patterson's most compelling novel in years.